Home Sport GAA Functional Portarlington see off Emo in horrific conditions to keep SFC defence...

Functional Portarlington see off Emo in horrific conditions to keep SFC defence alive

Jake Foster Portarlington

Portarlington 0-10 Emo 0-4
Laois SFC Semi-final

Portarlington are through to the Laois SFC final following a functional rather than spectacular victory over Emo.

Martin Murphy’s charges were nowhere near their best and hit 11 wides but still had enough to win and will meet Portlaoise in two weeks time.

The game was played in horrific conditions – in driving rain, the pitch was cutting up and the ball was like a bar of soap – making it extremely difficult for both teams.

Emo started the game without Padraig Kirwan as he prepares to head overseas with the Defence Forces and their cause was hardly helped by a serious leg injury picked up by Finbarr Crowley in the opening minutes.

But to be fair to John Strong’s men, they were competitive early on and actually took the lead through Jack Owens.

Portarlington weren’t wonderful in the opening quarter but a mark from Jake Foster and two Colm Murphy frees gave them a 0-3 to 0-1 lead at the first water break.

Colm Murphy kicked a point from play when play resumed and then a brilliant move in the 21st minute almost brought us a goal.

Rioghan Murphy won a ball in midfield and fed Ronan Coffey who transferred it inside to David Murphy. The latter had Adam Ryan on huis should and he forced a fine save from Niall Gorman – that went out for a 45 which Scott Osbourne converted.

Portarlingtonm were guilty of wasting chances after that with four wides and a couple of efforts that landed into Niall Gorman’s hands.

That left Emo in the game as a Paul Lawlor free put three in it at half time – 0-5 to 0-2.

Port almost had a goal when play resumed as Colm Murphy got in one on one with Niall Gorman who produced another stunning save – but Jake Foster did increase the lead from a free soon after.

Gorman was determined not to be beaten as he stopped from Colm Murphy again soon after and then did brilliantly to cut out a two-on-one situation involving the Murphy brothers.

David Murphy did put Port five ahead but only a spectacular block from Cathal Bennett denied Darren Strong a certain goal down the other end – with Paddy Hosey pointing the rebound.

Sub Evan Costello then landed a free to cut the gap to three at the second water break – 0-7 to 0-4.

Jake Foster landed his third when play resumed and then sub Stephen O’Neill put five in it with 50 minutes on the clock.

Portarlington kept the ball well after that and rarely allowed Emo near their goal to see out a professional win.

SCORERS – Portarlington: Colm Murphy 0-4 (three frees), Jake Foster 0-3 (two frees, one mark), Stephen O’Neill 0-1, David Murphy 0-1, Scott Osbourne 0-1 (one 45) Emo: Jack Owens 0-1, Paul Lawlor 0-1 (one free), Paddy Hosey 0-1, Evan Costello 0-1 (one free)

PORTARLINGTON: Scott Osborne; Cathal Bennett, Diarmuid Bennett, Alex Mohan; Stuart Mulpeter, Robbie Pigott, Paddy O’Sullivan; Keith Bracken, Sean Byrne; Adam Ryan, Ronan Coffey, Rioghan Murphy; Jake Foster, David Murphy, Colm Murphy. Subs: Stephen O’Neill for Coffey (45), Colin Slevin for Murphy (49), Jordan Fitzpatrick for Ryan (50), Sean Michael Corcoran for D Murphy (55), Eoin McCann for C Murphy (60)

EMO: Niall Gorman; Paddy Dunne, James O’Rourke, Liam Crowley; Cian Langford, Sean Greene, Tom Fennelly; Finbarr Crowley, Darren Strong; David Gorman, Nigel Murphy, Shane Murphy; Paul Lawlor, Jack Owens, Paddy Hosey. Subs: Eibhan Joyce for F Crowley (3, inj), Evan Costello for Joyce (ht), Eibhan Joyce for Fennelly (49, inj)

REFEREE: Brendan Hickey (Graiguecullen)

SEE ALSO – Check out all the weekend GAA coverage here

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.